LOVELY Banks trainer Kelly Bravo is renowned for her ability to prepare high-quality middle distance chasers and on Thursday night she will put the polish on five runners across the heats of the Group 2 McKenna Memorial at Sandown Park.
Bravo’s first runner Kiltah Magic, currently $3.60 with William Hill, has a speedy personal best of 33.96 over the 595m trip and posted an impressive 34.05 win a month ago.
The daughter of Kilty Lad and Beltah Magic has a solid record at this track and distance of three wins from seven starts and, despite her recent unplaced runs, Bravo is confident she can regain her form from the outside alley.
“The eight is a good box for her as she doesn’t like being crowded and I’m just hoping she can get away well and cross to the lead,” Bravo told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Hopefully the rain stays away, as she’s not really fussed on a heavy track.”
Morningside, a $17 shot, will step out in heat two from box five for Bravo and faces a tough-test with the likes of Allen Deed ($2.40) and Weblec Belle ($3.30) also engaged in the event.
Having just the one win over track and distance from 20 starts, Bravo is hopeful of her chances in a tough race.
“She will be up there early on, it’s just a matter of whether she can hold on.”
The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Spiral Siyan has run plenty of placings in her 73 career starts and hasn’t been unplaced in her four most recent runs. The key to her success in this race will be a good getaway from the middle draw and lowering her personal best time of 34.36.
Former New South Wales owned sprinter Waymore’s Blues, $5.50 with William Hill, will compete in heat three and is in the midst of a form slump, with his last win back in May.
The son of Collide and Casey’s Angel has only been victorious once over this distance and recorded 34.41, however has the ability to regain his form in this event, which is completed by an ideal box two draw.
“Waymore’s Blues never runs a bad race,”she said.
“He’s got plenty of ability but being on the inside he will need to get away well and avoid trouble early on.”
Seemingly Bravo’s best hope is Secret Spell, a half-sister to Group 1 winning sprinter and proven sire Fabregas, in heat four. The Paul Westerveld-owned chaser, the $2.20 favourite with William Hill, has been outstanding in her previous two wins, sizzling over the 515m at Sandown Park in 29.29, while she was a winner at The Meadows on Saturday night in 30.06.
Although she will be making her debut over the 595m distance, Bravo rates her as one of her better chances.
“If it rains, a heavy track won’t really suit her, so hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
“She has plenty of ability and it would be nice to see her get out and run a good time.”
The talented daughter of Batrim Bale and Wicked Witch has won 16 of her 27 starts, already amounting over $132,000 in prizemoney, after saluting in Group 3 Puppy Classic Final at Cranbourne in October last year.
Bravo’s final chance in heat five is What’s Chewing ($4.50), a very consistent chaser who has placed in 17 out of 30 starts and has an excellent record at this track and distance of two wins and two minor placings.
The son of Nitro Burst and Flushed has been successful over the middle distances at Horsham and The Meadows in recent times and finished second in a 595m event at this track two weeks ago in 34.27.
Heat one of the Mckenna Memorial will jump at 7.45pm (Victorian time).